Golden Mask Award Ceremony Held at the Stanislavsky and Nemirovich-Danchenko Music Theater

On Saturday, April 16, the stage of the Moscow Stanislavsky and Nemirovich-Danchenko Music Theatre hosted the official ceremony of the Golden Mask Russian National Theatre Award. The guests of the event were lucky to spend a wonderful evening in one of the most up-to-date theatrical facilities of Europe and the second largest music theatre of Russia.

This year, the ceremony was staged by Evgeny Pissarev, the art director of the Moscow Pushkin Drama Theatre and a nominee of the Golden Mask Award for his productions "The Marriage of Figaro" and "O'Henry's Christmas". Yulia Peresild and Pavel Akimkin representing a clown duo in spectacular outfit were the hosts of this event in the style of a retro circus.

The award ceremony was the final event of the Festival which took place from February 4 to April 16. During this time every nominee performance was staged at various Moscow theatres. This evening, the Moscow Stanislavsky and Nemirovich-Danchenko Music Theatre knew the answer to the main question of the last several months — who would win the most prestigious Russian Theatre Award. This year the competitive program of the Golden Mask Award included 52 theatres from 19 cities, 69 productions and over 200 individual nominees. And not only from Moscow and St. Petersburg – over half of the nominees were regional theatres. The judging panel had to make a difficult choice selecting the best performances and the most talented actors, actresses and directors. In the end, the best drama performance award was given to "Midsummer night's dream" (P.N. Fomenko Workshop, Moscow), the best opera award was given to "Khovanshchina" (Stanislavsky and Nemirovich-Danchenko Music Theatre, Moscow). In the "Ballet/Modern Dance" category the Award was given to the "A hero of our time" performance (the Bolshoi Theatre, Moscow) and "Idiot Café" (Ballet Moskva theatre, Moscow). In the "puppet" category, 2 awards were given to the "Thick notebook" production (Puppet Theatre, Perm) for the best performance and the best artist. The award ceremony culminated with handing out of a special award "For outstanding contribution to the development of the theatrical art"; the awards were given to such renowned people of theatre as Boris Eifman, Rimma Belyakova, Lev Dodin, Boris Messerer, Klara Kisenkova, Rostislav Yankovsky, Yuri Solomin, Rinat Tazetdinov. To see the full list of winners, visit the Golden Mask official website

This year, the Golden Mask Award took place for the twenty second time. For over two decades, each year a team of professional theatrical experts choose the most distinctive theatrical events of the season in every theatrical genre. During the Festival, the nominated performances are staged at various Moscow theatres, and the Festival culminates with an official award ceremony.

After the official award ceremony, the winners and guests of the evening could continue their informal discussions at cocktail dinner. The joyful atmosphere of the party was created by the spirits partner of the festival, the legendary ArArAt Armenian brandy. In addition to the picturesque photo area called "Discover the dimensions of the theatre" where the guests could take a picture of the memorable evening, they were offered exquisite cocktails, one of which called ArArAt Golden Mask was devised/ created specifically for the ceremony.

Russian National Theatre Award and the Festival called Golden Mask were established in 1993 by the Theatre Union of Russian Federation as a professional award given to the best productions of the season in all genres of theatre art: drama, opera, ballet, modern dance, operetta, musical, and puppet theatre. The winners of the Award are defined during the annual Festival of nominated productions. The 22nd Golden Mask Award Ceremony was held on April 16 at the Stanislavsky and Nemirovich-Danchenko Musical Theater.